In recent days, a special tutorial has gone public to teach in a short time how to blow the shofar properly, even for those who have never held a real shofar in their hand. The amazing video created by Rabbi Shlomo Raanan of the Ayelet Hashachar organization has received a great deal of interest around the world. Arutz Sheva spoke to Rabbi Raanan to hear a little about the background to this interesting initiative.
"The idea was born in the field, as always," says Rabbi Raanan. "For many years we've been helping moshavim and kibbutzim organize prayer quorums, sending volunteers to conduct prayers in places where there are no quorums, even on Yom Kippur.
"In the Jezreel Valley area, there was a dear man who traveled between the kibbutzim in a car(!) to blow shofar. In one of the places, there were those who used a trumpet to sound the blasts on the holy day - until the Ayelet Hashachar activists arrived.
"To all these places we always sent an expert and experienced shofar blower who will sound the shofar properly.
"This year, due to the unusual situation we all found ourselves in, in many places it's impossible to send volunteers from the outside, certainly if there's a general closure, so we prepared in advance to train the locals in moshavim and kibbutzim themselves to blow the shofar for their fellow locals.
"In addition, this year we also organized training for the members of kibbutzim in various centers around the country, for prayer leaders who will go from being listeners to being prayer leaders; in the training we provide guidance on how to conduct prayer and read the Torah for the first time in their lives.
"I must say it was extraordinarily exciting to see these dear people study and practice seriously, out of a desire to preserve prayer in their community in the proper way, even this year.
"Another thing that excites us, especially this year, is the good news about the number of kibbutzim where we helped and worked for a long time to establish a synagogue and this year on Rosh Hashanah, they will pray for the first time in their own synagogue. Among the places are Givat Hashlosha in the center of the country, Hanaton and Mitzpe Aviv in the north, and Beit Kama in the south.
"All these years we went out ourselves to the kibbutzim to be with them in the prayers and sounding the shofar, this year we'll be with them in our hearts and the shofar they will blow will be heard from a distance. With prayers for a happy new year to all the people of Israel."